Kassandra

Jun 27

Second Round Rocks Blazers Draft

By Kassandra Posted in: Blazers, Bobcats, Cavaliers, Clippers, Thunder

The 2013 NBA draft has concluded and analysts are probably hard at work grading it. The Blazers are one of a select few who should garner a high grade for their draft performance.

It was Neil Olshey's second draft as Blazers general manager and, perhaps, it could be difficult to top last year's selection of Damian Lillard, who went on to win rookie of the year. Will Barton was a pretty darn good pick up in the second round as well.

Despite Olshey's (still would like to know if I may call him Neil!) media silence over the past several weeks, it seemed common knowledge that Blazers 10th pick CJ McCollum was a high target for the team. It's an intriguing pick and one I think will assist the team as it moves forward. We're all going to be well-educated on CJ (apparently, he prefers to drop the punctuation in "CJ") over the next several days.

We should. In listening to his press conference, I was impressed at his demeanor. His answers were mature and thoughtful. I only listened to the press conference on the radio, but I could see him sitting there in his Blazers hat. I'm very much looking forward to seeing him on the court both giving Damian Lillard some rest, as well as pairing with Damian on the court in a similar manner we saw Damian pair last season with Ronnie Price, and then Eric Maynor. I think we know the opportunity we have will CJ and every Blazers fan out there should be excited.

With as positive a pick as CJ was in the first round, the Blazers made three selections in the second round and acquired another in a trade. As much as I am liking the promise of our number 10 pick, I am ecstatic about what the team did concerning round two. I've been able to get a little some perspective from friends regarding three of these guys. It should be noted it has been announced that the 40th pick, Arizona's Grant Jerrett, has been traded to the Thunder for cash considerations.

I'd like to share the perspectives I've gathered on those second rounders.

*          *          *

Allen Crabbe

It was announced at the beginning of the second round that the Cavaliers had traded the rights to the 31st pick, 6'6" shooting guard Allen Crabbe, to the Blazers for two future second rounders. For the sake of this blog, let's call this Steal Number One.

Allen averaged 18.4 points and 6.1 rebounds last season at Cal-Berkeley while shooting .532 from the field, .348 from behind the arc and .813 from the line. He was voted Pac-12 Player of the Year by the conference's coaches. My sister, Jessica, just finished her freshman year at Cal, and either attended or watched over half of the Golden Bears' games. Here is her take on Allen:

"He shoots and scores. That's just what he does. When he shoots a jumper, it's a thing of beauty. He can play defense, but needs to be more consistent there. He's a good athlete and he can get up and down the court quickly."

What strikes me is that .532 shooting from the field. That's simply outstanding for a player at either guard position. Besides, if I can't trust my own sister's analysis, who's analysis can I trust?

*          *          *

Jeff Withey

I was tweeting about the trade for Allen when the Blazers' 39th selection was announced. I was taken aback. I had predicted Jeff Withey to go 14 spots higher, in the first round, to the Clippers. I was floored. It was unfathomable that such a guy from a stalwart basketball power such as Kansas was still available. This guy is a defensive machine. his offensive game will need some work, but our need for a big guy is defense.

I could list a lot of statistics here, but there's one that glares back at you when you're looking at it: Jeff averaged 3.9 blocked shots per game for the Jayhawks. No wonder Olshey said he couldn't pass up selecting him. Jeff also averaged 13.7 points (on .582 shooting) and 8.5 rebounds per game. I'm going to call this: Steal Number Two.

My friend, Mark Kern, worked for the newspaper at Kansas St. -- the Jayhawks rival -- and also was an intern for the Bobcats during the 2011-12 season. The following are his observations regarding what he saw of Jeff.

"He does an incredible job of blocking shots without fouling; very limited offensive game in the post, but he has a nice 15-foot shot. (He) will provide 12-18 minutes a game off the bench, and instantly a defensive force."

If there's something I've learned from Mark, it's that he knows what he's talking about when it comes to sports. I was already excited about drafting Jeff. Now I am even more so after hearing what Mark told me.

*          *          *

Marko Tudorovic

I had never heard the name Marko Tudorovic prior to the announcement he had been selected by the Blazers with the 45th pick. Any time a foreign player is selected, there seems to be a little mystery there. Frankly, his stats are not greatly impressive. There is, in fact, not a lot by which to judge since he averaged just 7.3 minutes per game in Spain last season. He's a 6'10" power forward who, despite his limited minutes, managed to claim just over two rebounds per game. Marko is certainly a role player, but one who can give a team a few hard-working minutes off the bench when needed.

Former Boise St. standout and Idaho Stampede forward Reggie Larry played against Marko in Spain. He was, what I would call, more than impressed. In fact, Reggie compared him to another Blazer.

"He's ready now; played against him in Spain. I think he's better than (Victor) Claver -- just younger."

We already know Marko will continue to play in Spain, where he has two years left on his contract. What we should also know is that he's a diamond in the rough and will expand his game in his time there.

*          *          *

Hearing these comments make me feel very good about the team's activities on draft day. Honestly, I think we had a much better draft than I expected. Olshey and the war room team selected some very solid players. When it comes to the trade for Crabbe, he didn't away too much.

I'm calling this draft a success. In other words, our Blazers got better and we, the BlazerNation, should be very, very happy with the result.

KMM

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In Kassandra's Words features periodic blogs throughout the year. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end; players come and go; our Blazers are forever. 
   

19 Comments

  1. Yes BlazerNation is a happy one...(well i am at least) We have built up our bench, which we needed. Now if we can just keep LaMarcus around and happy i would be extremely happy :) Thank you again Kassandra for sharing!

    by Kim Thrasher on 6/27/2013 10:51 PM
  2. Amazing work once again Kass! Very happy with our selections, all in all a success

    by CamCripps3 on 6/28/2013 12:19 AM
  3. Hey Miss Kassandra, I am pleased as two frogs in a flea market.

    There is lots that I don't know about. But I am thrilled with McCollum.

    by Hg on 6/28/2013 12:48 AM
  4. Thanks for the info Kass!! Good stuff to know. Definitely a successful draft. :)

    by Niki C on 6/28/2013 2:12 AM
  5. I loved the input you got from your sources. I am Biased but I liked Jessica's the best! Great blog as usual!

    by Angi on 6/28/2013 3:17 PM
  6. Hey you three, although I believe the whole post, it is highly unfair to be bombarded by the McIntosh Brigade, I am sure you are Biased about Jessica and the famous Miss Kassandra; Guess what me too,

    Peace

    Harold

    by Hg on 6/28/2013 6:21 PM
  7. HG: Who am I to not look up to my older sisters. You should see us all in the same room together going all at once. We also recruiting our youngest sister. I think she is going to be a combination of all of us!

    by Angi on 6/29/2013 1:56 PM
  8. @Angi, can a 72 year old look up to a 21 year old. I sure admire her, just for her intelligents, not at all for her beauty LOL.

    @Kassandra, I don't believe a word of the rumors that LMA doesn't like Portland, I am more in the opinion that he hates the Portland media, because they twist everything he says around to making it sound wrong. He probably said if the FO didn't get him some help he would look for other places to sell his talents.
    That and the fact that Olsey said he would listen to all calls this spring, and just because he listens doesn't mean they will trade.

    by Hg on 6/29/2013 2:18 PM
  9. Good blog Kass and Hg, I couldn't agree more about the rumor take. I'm with you on that one. I think that the draft was pretty good. Sometimes I feel people think we're drafting starters and I never look at rookies that way. Some may end up in Idaho after summer league. Mostly we're looking to improve the bench first of all and compare CJ to Maynor, Crabbe to Smith, Withey to Jeffries, and we're talking bottom of the bench here. Maybe we sign two of these guys in CJ and Withey. We're in the middle of a process here and it's premature to judge the end result until free agency is over. I like the moves so far.

    by riverman on 6/29/2013 5:26 PM
  10. I'm just going to repeat what I told Kasey the other night. Allen Crabbe is instant offense. He's a great shooter and he can move up and down the court quickly. He knows how to play defense. I think he just has to make the effort to play it every time the other team has the ball. It was fun watching him play last year at Cal's home games. I can't wait to see him as a Blazer!

    Hg, we're all biased toward each other. There are a lot of similarities between us, but it's the differences between us that each of us admires more than anything else and bonds us more than anything else.

    by milwaukiejessi on 6/29/2013 5:42 PM
  11. i love the comments; you guys rock!

    @Kim Thrasher: LaMarcus messaged that he is NOT asking to be traded. i don't know what wild hair Quick, Haynes and Chad Ford got up their arses, but apparently they all were dead wrong.

    @Cam: overall, it was a much better night than i had expected.

    @Hg: i'm sure we'll learn more about all of these guys over the next couple of weeks. and yes, me and my sisters are taking over!

    @Niki C: we had a great draft. we got some pieces which are going to provide us some depth, which is what we needed.

    @Angi: i loved the insight too. Jessica's was awesome, but Mark and Reggie surprised me with theirs.

    @riverman: we weren't trying to draft starters and it's sad some people can't understand that. we filled some spots which we needed to fill. Olshey indicated we will sign CJ, Allen and Jeff. i'm good with that. i really want to see what these guys can bring to the team.

    @Jessica: i will never forget your reaction. that was some great input from you. it's pretty much the reason i wrote the blog!

    by Kassandra on 6/29/2013 8:31 PM
  12. Personally, what I love most about second round draft picks is the fact they leave so much room for FA which opens up in over the next few days. They are also non-guaranteed which rocks big time. I mean, look at will barton, dude's on 550,00 grand a year, yet he's producing some really handy things from the bench. With the CBA the way it is, the future for NBA rosters is getting the best rookies you can with the best vets. Result = really solid roster, with great value for money. The question is, where do Wesley, Batum, and Freeland fit in this model. Is their productivity high enough to justify their salaries?

    We wait with baited breath to see what decisions Olshey, Stotts and Allen make over the next 10 days....so exciting...x

    by dorje on 6/30/2013 8:19 AM
  13. Wesley, Batum, and Freeland will have to compete for their position. I also worry about EWill as he has had a bad, bad beginning.

    I am sure Miss Kassandra will stipulate that this is a great time to use Wesley for trade bait, and although I like Wesley's play we do need a consistent scorer at the two. Batum has also been up and down in his scoring, but does so much in other places that one can live with his scoring deficiencies.

    Don't forget that the Idaho Stampede is our developing team.

    by Hg on 6/30/2013 9:15 AM
  14. I like all there picks, Crabbes a great shooter that's what we need, and wither is a great blocker and cj is really smart

    by xshadowxec on 6/30/2013 10:42 AM
  15. I like all there picks, Crabbes a great shooter that's what we need, and wither is a great blocker and cj is really smart

    by xshadowxec on 6/30/2013 10:43 AM
  16. I can see CJ and Withey as a rotation players, I see Crabbe as a replacement to Babbitt. Remember our roster was thin so the bench is important.

    Our starting unit was great last year, if Withy takes JJ's place as of now, since I don't see Leonard and LaMarcus as good playing mates yet.

    If we Put CJ, EWill, maybe Crabbe or Claver, Freeland and Leonard in the second unit, that would help our bench scoring.

    by Hg on 6/30/2013 11:31 AM
  17. When we were talking on the phone during the draft and heard about the trade for Crabbe, I just shook my head and laughed! A Cal guy? Really? Sarcasm aside, I like the pick. I hope he brings his sharpshooting to the Blazers this season. I will say, I figured Jessica would be liking that move!

    by julianne on 6/30/2013 4:21 PM
  18. @Julianne; we have Kassandra, Jessica, Angi and now you, enough already LMAO.

    by Hg on 6/30/2013 5:11 PM
  19. @Hg: Jules was the 1st i got to sign up -- right after i converted her into a Blazers fan! she's a smart blonde surfer girl from southern california. we're lucky to have her! the addition of Thomas Robinson helps to solidify our frontcourt. i see him backing up LaMarcus. now we find a veteran center who can start & help groom Meyers and Jeff.

    @Julie: i know, a Cal guy. i guess we won't hold that against him now that he's a Blazer. Jessica is ecstatic!

    @xshadowxec: all three of these guys bring something to the table which should help us quite a bit. they're great pieces to the puzzle.

    @dorje: getting these guys make us younger, but they can fill the needs we have at a low price, which helps us quite a bit. Nicolas is not going anywhere. he'll be healthy to start the season and should be ready to go. Wesley is inconsistent and while i think he's in the team's plans, he could be part of a trade. some are saying we should trade Joel, but i think he has a place on the roster.

    by Kassandra on 6/30/2013 8:00 PM
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